New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday came down heavily on Trivendra Singh Rawat-led BJP government in the state for not ensuring that COVID-19 protocols were followed during the Kumbh Mela, the world's largest religious gathering. The High Court also rapped the state government for allowing Char Dham Yatra in the middles of the coronavirus pandemic.

A two-judge bench of Uttarakhand High Court comprising of Chief Justice RS Chauhan and Justice Alok Verma, while hearing a batch of PILs pertaining to the state's handling of the coronavirus pandemic, said "first we make the mistake of Kumbh Mela, then there is Char Dham. Why do we repeatedly cause embarrassment to ourselves?"

The court also asked about crowd control measures being taken at Chardham temples which opened recently for regular prayers. Taking into account videos on social media of the priests' movement in Badrinath and Kedarnath without following the social distancing norms, the Court expressed its displeasure at the states' "negligence".

"Go and see what is happening. In the video of Kedarnath and Badrinath temples, priests are not following social distancing. Even for worshipping, you cannot allow 23 priests to enter the temple, take the chopper and see what is happening in Badrinath-Kedarnath," the Court said.

The court further said that they are "ashamed when asked about what is happening to the people of the state. "What shall we say? It is not my business to decide. This work belongs to the government. You can fool the court but you cannot fool the people. The state government is playing with the lives of millions of people, the state government is negligent," the Court added.

The next hearing in the matter is scheduled for June 9. The court also said that the Centre had not responded yet to the requests for extending a helping hand to the remote areas of the state where medical facilities are scarce and asked why Uttarakhand was being overlooked.

The high court asked the state's Health Secretary to urge the Centre to provide 1000 oxygen concentrators and distribution of other essentials required for Covid care especially in remote areas where medical facilities are scarce. The court also questioned the rationality of the Centre's oxygen distribution policy when it was informed that despite producing 350 metric tonnes of oxygen, the state is being forced to import 40 per cent of its allocated quota of 183 MT from Durgapur and Jamshedpur.

(With ANI, PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan